Ten years. That’s how long it’s been since I stepped out of high school for the very last time. This past weekend, I dragged, err, took, Matt to my ten year high school reunion. Most Thanksgiving breaks, I follow a whirlwind schedule of meeting up with every friend that comes to town. I drink an entirely unreasonable amount of coffee and eat too much food because I’m constantly meeting someone at Starbucks, for lunch, dinner, a mid-afternoon snack, etc. I hop from place to place, relishing a few hours with some of my best friends from growing up. Inevitably, we end up in the same places, for lack of knowledge of new things and, maybe, the simple nostalgia for the way things were. The funny thing about coming ‘home’ to my parents’ house is that it’s starting to feel like it’s been a really long time since I’ve lived in the suburbs.
I’m not used to the wide roads, the colorful trees, the mountains, and the quiet streets. Everything feels the same, yet simultaneously different. Getting dressed for my reunion, I got the weirdest feeling: like I had stepped back in time. I was again worried about my hair being too frizzy, my outfit not being cool enough, the ‘popular’ girls that I might see, the boys I had crushes on in high school. Throughout the days I spent at my parents’ house in their absence, I kept getting flashbacks; of my first date, of car talks with girlfriends, of senior prom, of working at the mall, of learning how to drive my first car, of playing basketball with my dad in the driveway, of moving into our new house, of baking brownies with my mom, of trying on clothes in my room before a dance.
My high school ‘crew’ is still pretty tight, so I knew we’d have a good time, but I wondered…who would show up? My high school reunion was, in a word: surprising. The controversial characters — the ‘bad’ kids, the ‘popular’ girls, and the biggest nerds weren’t there. There was a large contingent of literary magazine and newspaper kids (some of my good friends). There were the ‘band kids’ and the winter formal king. There were the kids whose names I couldn’t remember for the life of me. We were all grown up kids. Some of us have changed dramatically physically, but some of us remained frozen in time.
This Thanksgiving, in particular, felt different to me. I found myself feeling emotional a lot. We spent the day with my 86 year old grandfather since my parents were away and I started noticing, more than ever before, just how elderly he has become. Visiting all of my old haunts felt somehow sad. I was constantly reminded of how far away — mentally — I am from the place I grew up in. The brilliantly colored leaves kept reminding me of the time passing. Every year. We grow older and those around us do, too. Every year, we all come back to the same place. But some of us don’t. And while the leaves keep changing, there comes a time when people stop coming. And part of me never wants that to happen. And maybe that’s why so many people stop coming back. Staying away, it’s easier to forget the time that has passed. The people we used to be (and still are). The people we used to love, to lust, to worship, to adore, to hate, to dismiss, to look over.
Minted Fennel-Apple Juice
After gorging on turkey, pie, stuffing, and more this Thanksgiving (not to mention an unreasonable amount of carbs and lattes), I am ready for some lighter fare this week. I’m not going on a juice cleanse, but I suspect some of you might need a little recharge. This juice is a delicious combination of apples, fresh fennel, mint and lemon. It’s refreshing. It’s new. It’s a good way to start the week fresh.
1 large bulb of fennel, roughly chopped
2 apples (I used Fuji and Honeycrisp) roughly chopped
2 slices of lemon
1 small handful of mint
Feed the ingredients through the juicer, and give the juice a nice stir once it’s processed. I use this one.
Musical Pairings: Tycho – Dive + Minted Fennel-Apple Juice
More on the Turntable.